Ami Acary is a Chin ethnic woman from Myanmar who has over eight years of experience in supporting the peace process and furthering political dialogue in Myanmar. This experience reinforced in Ami’s mind the importance of the design of Myanmar’s legal system to the country’s future. Ami has also worked with the CCD through their Burma program for many years, and has previously audited a number of constitutional design courses offered by the CCD.
Ahmed Elbasyouney has an LLM degree in comparative constitutional law from Central European University, where he focused his thesis on post-Arab Spring judicial review. From August 2018 to September 2020, Ahmed worked as a parliamentary staffer to an Egyptian MP focusing on issues pertaining to constitutional rights, judicial reform, and government scrutiny and accountability.
Prior to that, Ahmed obtained a BA in political science and public administration from Future University in Egypt. During his undergraduate studies, he interned at the Congressional office of late Senator John McCain (R–AZ) and the Egyptian Ministry of Planning. Upon completion of his degree, Ahmed hopes to become a scholar of democracy, and further advise his government on rule-of-law matters.
Kwangsup Kim studies constitutional design with a mission to protect human rights and balance the powers for pro-democracy. After retiring from the Navy in 2000, Kwangsup worked as a senior counselor for the Korean National Assembly. In January 2011, he won the grand prize from the Speaker of the National Assembly. Kwangsup has worked in the FKCC (Future Korea Constitution Committee) preparing constitutional law of unification, and in the UN-MDG FORUM, a group which advocates food security and works to eradicate poverty. Over time Kwangsup has also gained political campaign experience, most notably during the Korean presidential election of 2007 where he participated in making a presidential election pledge as a member of policy room. Since 2007 Kwangsup has been an academic director and vice chairperson of the Committee of Women’s Rights at the Human Rights & Welfare Institution of Korea. He also became a member of the Board of Directors at The Correction Welfare Society of Korea in 2012.
Rafael Macia Briedis is currently completing a joint JD/PhD in Law and Democracy at Indiana University. Prior to coming to Indiana, he obtained an undergraduate law degree from the University of Navarra and, while pursuing his JD, he interned with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative, and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in New Delhi (India). He has also taught as an Associate Instructor at IU, and as part-time Lecturer for the Department of Political Science at Indiana State University.
Rafael’s research focuses on the relationship between constitutional supremacy and popular self-determination in the context of constitutional reform processes, as well as on the implications of that relationship for the design of government institutions. He is particularly interested in Venezuela, and his current work looks at how the invocation of the theory of constituent power during the 1999 constitution-making process contributed to the subsequent breakdown of democratic accountability in that country.
Dr. Hilary Egheose Okoeguale is a Mandela Washington Fellow. He served as Associate Professor of Law and Director at the Law Clinic, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. He has taught Human Rights Law, Constitutional Law and Public International Law for about nine years and supervised under graduate and postgraduate research works. Under the auspices of the Law Clinic, he coordinated students to provide civic education in secondary schools and para-legal services to detainees at the Ado-Ekiti Correctional Centre through a service-learning module. He has quality experience in strategic advocacy, law reforms and litigation. His interventions in the criminal justice system in Ondo State, Nigeria between 2008 - 2013 included providing free legal representation in court for indigent detainees and mobilizing efforts for criminal justice reforms. Between 2011 and 2012, he co-drafted the extant Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Ondo. In July, 2022, he served as visiting Faculty at the Staley School of Leadership Studies at Kansas State University to train the 2022 Mandela Washington Fellows. His passion for strengthening democracy and social justice has led him to commence a second doctoral study at the Maurer School of Law, Indiana University, where he hopes to make world class contributions to the development of democracy.
Brittany Shelmon (JD/PhD fellow) received her BA in history from Mount Holyoke College, focusing on 20th century wars with a minor in philosophy. During her undergraduate career, she studied post-conflict societies in the former Yugoslavia. Her independent work while abroad centered on organizations that represent families of missing persons. She is pursuing a joint degree with the Russian and Eastern European Institute, where she will continue to learn lessons from the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Alemayehu Fentaw Weldemariam is currently a PhD student specializing in constitutional law and constitutional design at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law. He holds the position of Lecturer-in-Law at Mekelle University School of Law. Throughout his academic career, he has taught constitutional law, political theory, and peace and conflict studies at various institutions in both Ethiopia and the United States, including Jimma University, Mekelle University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Suffolk University. Furthermore, he has delivered guest lectures at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Villanova University, and Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. Alemayehu is also affiliated with the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Project at Gothenburg University in Sweden. In 2010, he served as the National Peace Advisor to the Ministry of Federal Affairs. He has participated in fellowships with the Salzburg Global Seminar in Salzburg, Austria, the SRF in New York, and the Academy for International Business Officials in Beijing, China. Alemayehu holds an LLB from Addis Ababa University, an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the European University Center for Peace Studies in Stadtschlaining, Austria, and an MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. Furthermore, he has pursued graduate training in the Great Books of the Western World at the Graduate Institute at St. John's College in Annapolis, MD, as well as in philosophy at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. His teaching and research interests encompass constitutional law, political theory, and conflicts in the Horn of Africa.
Richard D. Welch received his BS with distinction in police administration at Eastern Kentucky University. He also received a minor in military science and was the distinguished military graduate of the R.O.T.C. program. Additionally, Rick holds a degree in law (JD, Capital University), theology (MA, Cincinnati Christian University), and strategic studies (MSS, U.S. Army War College). In his civilian career, Rick has worked in various sectors implementing, enforcing, and supporting rule of law in the fields of law enforcement, civil and criminal law, and as an elected prosecuting attorney. He is a licensed attorney in Ohio and a member of the American Bar Association and Ohio State Bar Association.
As a military officer, Rick has participated in or supported campaigns to initiate, restore or support democratic initiatives around the world to include Vietnam, Cold War initiatives, Haiti, the Balkans, and most recently in Iraq where he was a key military advisor and liaison to local, provincial, and national political groups to build and enhance governance capacity and a key interlocutor in conflict resolution dialogue with armed groups (2003–05) and where he served as chief of the national reconciliation section in Baghdad that supported national political reconciliation among the various ethno-sectarian, religious, tribal, political, exiled and armed opposition groups (2007–11).
Rick is a doctoral student in law and democracy and plans to focus his general research and field work on strengthening the democratization of Iraq, including effective constitutional design as a key foundational pillar, promoting human rights and criminal justice reform, and developing and promoting conflict resolution and national political reconciliation programs that include an effective disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) program for indigenous militia and insurgent groups to enhance security, strengthen rule of law, and promote stability critical to Iraq’s successful democratization.